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I could have done that

  Thu 18th March 2021

I left work at The Big House last night, and walked along quiet residential streets to get my bus, strongly conscious of my privilege in worrying far less than the women I saw (and quietly tried to avoid), who were engaged in the same blameless activity that was Sarah Everard's last act.

I am sick of it all, and of the 80% male police force who employed her murderer tacitly indicating to women at the demonstration in London, that they shouldn't be in public places, at night.


As I return after sitting in the park with the LRB drinking, the smoking clan is in the doorway. Inside, the weekly bingo party, along with the chicken legs and sausage rolls, is hotting up. I want to join in one day but I have to decline the invite as I'm back at the The Big House later. Not many people in this block work, their main objective being never to let their lungs have a glimpse of clarity.


Mel has also found herself a social housing flat. It's spacious, with a shared garden, in a sixties arboreally-named street. One would think Bristol was teeming with dark fruit. As in my block, it contains preventative fixtures to arm us against the falls we're expected to take.

My flat still has sections of raw particleboard flooring showing, a visual irritation I can't afford to conceal at the moment. Someone on The Instatok said that she sealed hers with clear PVC glue and then painted on it, but the thought of doing anything DIY-ish gives me a shiver of distaste and anticipatory incompetence, an instance of which might be my only completed job on the flat so far -- covering the interrogation-quality fluorescent light in the kitchen with front covers of the LRB, which I heard somewhere is printed in a flame-retardant ink.


The other night, Mr Patel in the corner shop said to me "no, for you sir, two for four-fifty."

I went to put my recycling out the other day, bottles sticking akimbo out of my carrier bag, and one of the other rezzies said "oh! You're going to fit in really well here!"

It takes less than a fortnight to aquire a reputation in a new suburb if one behaves consistently.


Littérateurs: has anyone else struggled a bit with Cafavy? I'm halfway through his collected poems and it sounds like the pub bore cut up into shorter lines. If anyone can give me a key, I'd be grateful.

From Perception, trans. Evangelos Sacherperoglou

The years of my youth, my sensuous life---
how clearly I see their meaning now!

What useless, what futile repentances...

But I couldn't see their meaning then.

From Painted

I'm careful about my work and cherish it.
But today I'm disheartened by the slow pace of composition.
The day has affected me. Its aspect
keeps growing darker. All wind and rain.
I'd rather look at things than speak about them.

Eight-nine pages in, I'd rather he would too.

9 comments »

9 comments

Comment from: monkey man [Visitor]

Cavafy’s no better!

We’re off to live in an old folks home in luvverly Loidis - plenty of space & the govt cares about you.

Fri 19th March 2021 @ 19:47 Reply to this comment
Comment from: monkey man [Visitor]

Some weirdos have set up a thing that automatically & quite aleatorily screws up Spanish poetry. So a bit from the Spanish translation of Cavafy’s Ithaka, modified in Spanish & translated into English, reads:

When you find a garage in Ithaca
Ask the Three Kings to bring you a Play Station 5,
Full of adventure, full of management.

Hope that is helpful.

Fri 19th March 2021 @ 22:37 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

That is indeed helpful! A great improvement.

Blimey, we’re all moving into places with grab rails. But it means little’un will grow up with a decent accent.

Sat 20th March 2021 @ 12:00 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Funny how men and the Fuzz always want to “blame” women basically for existing while placing no responsibility on themselves for being violent and horrible creatures.

And it’s good to have an in at the local shop especially when it means a discount!!

Sun 21st March 2021 @ 14:02 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes, it’s definitely a time for a “down with this sort of thing” placard.

I don’t tell Mr Patel that I can get it for 3 for a fiver down Tesco.

Sun 21st March 2021 @ 14:45 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

I’m pleased to read you are settling in - don’t be afraid of the DIY. I’ve done wonders with painting cork tiles.
Sx

Mon 22nd March 2021 @ 15:28 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes I must bite the bullet. My reluctance to do anything about the floor has got a great deal to do with my utter laziness, as well as my feeling that I’ll make a hash of it.

Tue 23rd March 2021 @ 01:21 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Did someone say making hash ;)

Tue 23rd March 2021 @ 12:12 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Did they? We welcome all comers here.

Tue 23rd March 2021 @ 15:07 You are currently replying to this comment


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M / 57 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.


There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
George Szirtes

Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

The Comfort of Strangers

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16.1.19: Further pruning

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